Service and Maintenance Inspection App Development (see word doc attachment for more information)
Torrent Resources is an employee-owned General Engineering Contractor headquartered in Phoenix with an office in Fontana, CA, specializing in stormwater disposal systems and drainage design. Since 1972, we have installed more than 80,000 drainage systems in the Southwest, primarily in the form of the MaxWell® Drywell. We have an inspection department that goes out and inspects these systems, sometimes a couple hundred a day. Here’s what a drywell looks like: [url removed, login to view]
We currently have an inspector go out into the field and inspect every drainage application on a property and write down those findings on a form (paper). They also create a map of the locations of various systems. That paper form and map then gets handed to the Salesperson who edits the notes by hand to better explain the situation. That form then goes to the Sales Assistant who types up the report into our proposal template. The proposal is then turned into a PDF and sent to the Salesperson for final review and then distribution to the client. There must be a better way to input the inspection findings in the field and create a map based on the location of the inspector. The app needs to be reliable and FAST, able to process entries immediately and then transmitted to the office from the field. We previously attempted to develop an app and while it has some great features, it seems to run very slowly in the field. When we click on one entry, the app “thinks” for multiple minutes…this needs to be instant. Our inspectors lose patience and just go back to doing it by hand.
An app that runs on a tablet (iPad or Android). The Sales Assistant who sets up the inspections would be able to send the inspection request directly to the app for the inspector. It would include such pertinent information as location, client, contact information and any relevant attachments like existing maps or work orders or relevant pictures if he is to look for something specific. The inspector could then move from drainage system to drainage system, inputting his findings for each drywell, catch basin, culvert, headwall and “other” systems. As he is inspecting, the app would be able to map the location of each system because the inspector is literally standing over it while inputting information. When completed the inspector transmits the information back to the office and rather than having to re-type everything, it is properly loaded into our proposal format. At that point, the Salesperson can make modifications to the proposal on their computer and then it can be made into a PDF and distributed.
Reducing the amount of times everything is written/typed. Ability to transmit from the field and cut down on time between inspection being performed and distributed. We will still need to wait for photos to arrive in the office (the inspector has a camera with him for photos….and the systems are underground so it’s hard to get a good photo with the camera on the tablet….need a separate camera unfortunately…sample pictures included for reference) in most cases although sometimes they can be sent from the field if the problem is obvious. Taking photos with the app and sending in would take way too long to transmit as there are typically 2-4 pictures per system so if there are 50 systems on a site there can be up to 200 pictures to accompany the report. However, if there is a way to have pictures be part of the app, we are interested. This app could also be used by Field Reps to communicate issues in the field that sales needs to know about either to communicate to clients or to create a change order. Also, emergency inspections could be transmitted to inspectors in the field directly through the app rather than wait for them to get back into the office or try to explain to them over the phone.